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Killicon bleed.png
HUD icon for bleeding.

Bleeding is a damage-over-time effect inflicted on a player that is caused by certain weapons. Should a player be struck by bleeding, their health will gradually dissipate at a rate of 4 health points every 0.5 seconds (or 8hp/s) until the effect wears off, the victim dies, or is cured by touching a Medkit, Resupply locker, or a Lunchbox item. Unlike fire, bleeding cannot be cured by water or a compression blast.

When players are afflicted with bleeding, their screen flashes slowly with a red hue, a red drop on their health display, and continual flinching. Any other player viewing the effect will see blood particles being emitted from the player.

Bleed duration varies between weapons and does not stack on multiple hits by the same weapon; being struck again resets the status to its full duration. However, unlike afterburn, a similar damage-over-time status effect, bleed damage will stack if a player is struck in quick succession by several different bleed-inflicting weapons, allowing even more damage-over-time to occur over the same period (for example, being hit by a Flying Guillotine and Boston Basher).

Although bleeding cannot crit on its own, damage inflicted from it can be given mini-crit status if the target is affected by a mini-crit debuff, such as from Jarate or being marked for death, or the attacker being given a mini-crit buff, such as from the Buff Banner or Crit-a-Cola.

Bleeding can be used during hit-and-run maneuvers to great effect, allowing players to avoid direct confrontation while dealing considerable damage over time. Additionally, it proves to be a useful tool for seeking out cloaked Spies, who will flinch and produce blood particles even while disguised.

Damage and function times

See also: Damage
Damage and function times
Damage type Untyped
Ranged or Melee damage? Untyped
Bleeding 4 / tick
Bleeding (mini-crit) 5 / tick
Function times
Attack interval 0.5 s
Values are approximate and determined by community testing.

Associated weapons

List of bleed-inflicting weapons
Secondary Flying Guillotine
  • The Flying Guillotine can be thrown by using either primary fire or secondary fire, causing the enemy to bleed when hit. The effect lasts for 5 seconds, allowing for a successful hit to deal 90 damage total.
Flying Guillotine
Melee Boston Basher Three-Rune Blade
  • The Boston Basher's/Three-Rune Blade's bleeding effect lasts for 5 seconds; a single hit deals 75 damage.
    • Hitting yourself only deals 18 damage; this results in a total 58 self-damage with the 5 seconds bleed.
Boston Basher Three-Rune Blade
Wrap Assassin
  • The Wrap Assassin's alt-fire allows a bauble to be launched similarly to the Sandman's alt-fire, causing the enemy to bleed when hit directly. The effect lasts for 5 seconds, allowing for a single collision to deal 55 damage total.
    • Throwing the bauble from an extreme distance and hitting an enemy results in a critical hit, but does not extend or alter the bleeding, allowing for a successful hit to deal about 85 damage total.
Wrap Assassin
Melee Southern Hospitality
  • The Southern Hospitality's bleeding effect lasts for 5 seconds, allowing for a single hit to deal 105 damage total.
Southern Hospitality
Melee Tribalman's Shiv
  • The Tribalman's Shiv's bleeding effect lasts for 6 seconds, allowing for a single hit to deal 81 damage total.
Tribalman's Shiv
Action items Grappling Hook
  • Bleed persists as long as it is attached.
Grappling Hook

Update history

May 20, 2010 Patch (Second Community Contribution Update)

  • Added Bleeding mechanic.

May 27, 2010 Patch

  • Added bleeding icon to game.

October 9, 2012 Patch

  • Overhealed players that are bleeding or on fire can now pickup healthkits to remove these conditions.

January 16, 2013 Patch

  • Fixed a server crash caused by players bleeding to death.


  • If a new round on a map is started while a player is bleeding, that player's screen will continue to flash as if the player is suffering from bleed damage. However, the player will not produce voice responses or take any damage. The effect remains until the player leaves the server or exits the game.



  • When bleeding was first introduced with the release of the Tribalman's Shiv, the kill icon would display whatever weapon was being wielded at the time by the killer. When holding Jarate or being in the process of respawning, the generic "Skull and Crossbones" kill icon would be used.